Difference between revisions of "African American Genealogy"

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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[African American Research|African American Research]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[African American Genealogy|Genealogy]]''
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''[[United States]][[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]][[African_American_Genealogy|African American Genealogy]]''{{AfrAm-sidebar}}
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| [[Image:TN Valley Authority African American worker.jpg|thumb|right|320px|<center>A Tennesee Valley Authority African American worker</center>]] <br>
  
It is important to note that no matter how much time and money you spend on your research, unless you are organized, you will frustrate yourself and your opportunity for finding the truth about your family. Leave those tiny slips of paper alone and get software to help you keep track of which branches actually have leaves and which ones do not. There are a good number of quality Family Tree software companies who will allow you to download their software for free. Take advantage of the opportunity and get started today!
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|-
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| valign="bottom" height="30" align="center" style="text-align: center; font-family: verdana; color: rgb(0,51,102); font-size: 130%" | '''Welcome to the African American Research page'''
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'''''Its most unique genealogical features:'''''
  
There are seven easy steps to begin your research:
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*[[Quick Guide to African American Records#Making_the_Slave_Connection|Family name changes]] were common after the Civil War
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*[[Quick Guide to African American Records#Searching_Records_for_Slaves|Slavery research]] is usually challenging
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*[[African American Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Records|Freedman's Bank Freedmen's Bureau Records]]
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*[[Researching African American Genealogy|Researching African American Genealogy]]
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*Join the [[Join a Facebook Research Community|Facebook]] African American Genealogy Research Community.
  
=== Step One: Start With Yourself  ===
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Identify what you already know. Start with yourself and work backward in time by filling in as much information as you can, by memory, on a Pedigree Chart. You will need to know the full name (including maiden names for women) and dates and locations for birth, death, and marriage.  
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{{Click|Image:AA_ORP.png|African_American_Online_Genealogy_Records}}
  
=== Step Two: Gather Family Information  ===
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{| cellpadding="5" border="1" style="background-color:#CCFFFF"
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|-
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| valign="bottom" align="center" | '''''Help Index Freedmen's Bureau Records'''''
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Help yourself and others find their African American ancestors by participating in the [http://www.discoverfreedmen.org/ Discover Freedmen Indexing Project]. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865631024/LDS-Church-FamilySearch-launch-project-to-index-Freedmen7s-Bureau-records-of-4-million-former.html?pg=all June 19th Press Conference]
  
Gather your records (Birth, Marriage, Deeds, etc.).
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*Interview Interview immediate family members; compare your memories with those of your siblings, parents, cousins, grandparents, etc.
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*Ask when and where things happened to get an understanding of "place" and "time"- remember, location is key in genealogical research.
 
*Record Record the information you get from these interviews.
 
*Fill Fill in a Family Group Sheet to organize your ancestors according to marriages.
 
  
=== Step Three: Contact Your Relatives ===
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=== State African American Pages ===
  
For relatives who live in other states, start with a phone call and follow up with a letter. For relatives nearby, make plans to visit at their convenience. Ask for permission to record the conversation or to use videotape prior to interview.
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{| width="66%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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|-
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|
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*[[African American Resources for Alabama|Alabama]]
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*[[African American Resources for Alaska|Alaska]]
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*[[African-American Resources for Arkansas|Arkansas]]
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*[[Arizona African Americans|Arizona]]
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*[[African American Resources for California|California]]
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*[[African-American Resources for Colorado|Colorado]]
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*[[Connecticut Ethnic Groups|Connecticut]]
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*[[Delaware Slavery and Bondage|Delaware]]
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*[[District of Columbia African Americans|District of Columbia]]
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*[[Florida African Americans|Florida]]
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*[[African-American Resources for Georgia|Georgia]]
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*Hawaii
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*Idaho
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*[[African-American Resources for Illinois|Illinois]]
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*[[Indiana Minorities|Indiana]]
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*[[African-American Resources for Iowa|Iowa]]
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*Kansas
  
=== Step Four: Write for Copies of Records  ===
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|
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*[[Kentucky Minorities|Kentucky]]
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*[[African-American Resources for Louisiana|Louisiana]]
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*Maine
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*[[Maryland Minorities|Maryland]]
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*Massachusetts
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*[[African-American Resources for Michigan|Michigan]]
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*[[African-American Resources for Minnesota|Minnesota]]
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*[[African-American Resources for Mississippi|Mississippi]]
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*[[African-American Resources for Missouri|Missouri]]
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*Montana
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*[[Nebraska Minorities|Nebraska]]
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*[[Nevada African Americans|Nevada]]
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*New Hampshire
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*[[African-American Resources for New Jersey|New Jersey]]
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*New Mexico
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*[[African American Resources for New York|New York]]<br>
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*[[North Carolina Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups|North Carolina]]
  
*Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce
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|
*Courthouse Information
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*North Dakota
*Land/Probate Deeds, Conveyances, Affidavit of Heirship, Guardianship
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*[[Ohio Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups|Ohio]]
*Tax Records (includes slave information)
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*[[African American Resources for Oklahoma|Oklahoma]]
*Voter Registration
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*Oregon
*Social Security Administration
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*[[Pennsylvania Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups|Pennsylvania]]
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*Rhode Island
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*[[South Carolina African Americans|South Carolina]]
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*South Dakota
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*[[African-American Resources for Tennessee|Tennessee]]
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*[[African American Resources for Texas|Texas]]
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*[[Utah Minorities|Utah]]
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*Vermont
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*[[Virginia African Americans|Virginia]]
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*Washington
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*[[African-American Resources for West Virginia|West Virginia]]
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*[[Wisconsin Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups|Wisconsin]]
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*[[Wyoming Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups|Wyoming]]
  
=== Step Five: Follow Up On Death Record Clues ===
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|}
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|}
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==== How to do African American Genealogy Research ====
  
*Legal name of descendant
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*[[Quick Guide to African American Records|Quick Guide to African American Records]]
*Marital status
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1870-Present] in the FamilySearch Learning Center.
*Parent(s) Names(s)
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*[[Researching African American Genealogy|How to start African American Research]]
*Date and place of birth and death
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*[https://familysearch.org/african-american-genealogy FamilySearch African American Genealogy page]
*Who verified death
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*[[African American Online Genealogy Records|African American Online Genealogy Records]]
*Funeral Home that handled remains
 
*Cemetery
 
*Verification of social security number
 
  
=== Step Six: Search the Census ===
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=== Did you know? ===
  
Federal Census Records are taken every ten years and are available from 1790 through 1930. Some local and state census records are also available depending upon the venue.  
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[[Image:Largest ancestry map.png|thumb|left|250px|<center>Deep purple shows counties with an African American plurality</center>]]<br>
  
Census records contain: name, age, race, occupation, house number, occupants, literacy, military experience, home/farm ownership, value of property, neighbors and much more.  
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*The first African settlers in the U.S. were indentured servants in Jamestown, Va., in 1619 (before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock) and freed after 7 years.
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*African American is the most common ancestry in: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
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*The Freedman's Bank and the Freedmen's Bureau were separate organizations, from different federal departments, in separate National Archives record groups.
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*Ten percent of the African American population was free before the Civil War.
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*Only 15 percent of freed slaves used the family name of a former owner.
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*From 1865 to 1875 many African Americans changed their family name.
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*Over 3,600 Free African Americans owned slaves in 1830. <ref> Not Quite Fre The Free Negro Before the Civil War by Lowell H. Harrison. American History Illustrated FHL 973 B2ahi vol.9 June 1974 pg 12.</ref><br><br><br>
  
Begin searching with the name of a person you know who would have been included in the 1930 census.
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=== Keys to success in African American research  ===
  
If you have trouble finding the person, look for siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. Most families lived only a few doors from each other.  
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You will find the most success researching African American ancestors if you begin with yourself, and follow oral history as well as historical records such as birth, marriage, and death certificates to document the previous generations.  
  
=== Step Seven: Search at the State and County Level  ===
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Use the US Census to research your family groups. Many times, you may have difficulty in documenting an ancestor.If you research the collateral lines (aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins), you will discover more about your common ancestor and have a wealth of resources to explore.[[United States Basic Search Strategies|See United States Basic Search Strategies.]]<br>
  
In many cases, state and local records are the best sources for finding information. For example, many jurisdictions completed census records annually in addition to the 10-year Federal Census
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In the beginning, you may use the same type of genealogical records other groups use to identify ancestors.&nbsp;;For this reason there is no need to duplicate state resources here. Consult the state and county articles on the FamilySearch Wiki first until you exhaust them. See [http://files.lib.byu.edu/family-history-library/research-outlines/US/AfricanAmerican.pdf Finding Records for Your Ancestors, Part A-African American 1870 to Present]. You will find records become somewhat scarce as you move back in time.<br>
  
Records also include voter registration cards, tax information (this is important for slavery research), land grants, deeds, wills and probate, some vital records, cemetery listings and transcriptions, criminal and civil proceedings, etc.  
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Once you notice you are no longer able to find your ancestors on the records most commonly used by others, return here and choose the state above where your ancestor lived to discover records not commonly used in genealogy research. &nbsp;
  
Most states have an Archives Office that each county routinely sends information to. This is done to free space at the local level as well as to preserve the history of each locale.
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=== Key Internet Links  ===
  
=== What You Will Find  ===
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{| width="66%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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|-
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| valign="top" |
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*[[Quick Guide to African American Records|African American Quick Guide]]
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/e/e8/36367_African_American_Records.pdf Finding African Americans 1870-Present]
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*[[United States Census Population Schedules, 1870 United States|1870 United States Census]]
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*[http://library.uncg.edu/slavery/ Digital Library on American Slavery]
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*{{FSbook|60362}}
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://hr-search-api:8080/searchapi/search/collection/1417695 Freedman Bank Records 1865-1874] [[United States Freedman's Bank Registers 1865-1874 (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[https://familysearch.org/s/collection/show#uri=http://search-api:8080/searchapi/search/collection/1414908&hash=Mrd8SMocDIIen2Q83tu%252B82PRagg%253D Freedmen's Bureau Marriages, 1815-1869]
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*[http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1105 Freedmen's Bureau Field Offices 1865-1872]
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*[https://www.legacytree.com/african-american-ancestry Legacy Tree Genealogists]
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*[http://www.slcl.org/branches/hq/sc/scc/steps.htm Southern Claims Commission]
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*[http://www.inmotionaame.org/home.cfm African-American Migration Experience]
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*[http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/ North American Slave Narratives]<br>
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*[http://www.lwfaaf.net/ Resting Places of United States Colored Troops, Officers and Sailors]
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*[http://www.africanamericancemeteries.com/ African American Cemeteries Online]
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*[http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/sthtml/sthome.html American Memory - Slaves and the Courts 1740-1860]<br>
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*[http://www.menare.org/research.html The Menare Foundation]
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*[http://slavebiographies.org/project/about/ The Atlantic Slave Database Network: A new Resource for Scholars]
  
What you will find in interviewing members of the family is that African Americans often use nicknames instead of proper birth names. Many of us don't know the "real" names of our family members. This tradition is a direct result of slavery. Families in bondage gave each child a "secret" name so that if the family were ever separated and later rejoined, this "secret" name would be the unique identifier for reuniting.
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| valign="top" |
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*[http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/ Civil War Soldiers and Sailors]
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*[http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=6482&offerid=0%3a7858%3a0 World War I Draft Registration]
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*[http://www.unc.edu/iaar/ Institute of African American Research]
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*[http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/ National Archives - African American Heritage]
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*[http://www.afrigeneas.com/ African Ancestored Genealogy]
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*[http://www.slavevoyages.org/tast/index.faces Trans-Atlantic Slave Voyages]<br>
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*[http://www.genealogycenter.info/africanamerican/ African American Gateway]<br>
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*[http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/ Free African Americans of VA, NC, SC, MD, DE]
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*[http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/wpa/wpahome.html American Slave Narratives]<br>
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*[http://www.afrigeneas.com/ AfriGeneas]
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*[http://www.africanaheritage.com/index.asp Africana Heritage Project]
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*[http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/VideoRedirection.aspx?content_id=15340 Avoid Traps in African American Genealogy], Tony Burroughs<br>
  
An additional benefit of having a "secret" name was to deter an unsuspecting blood brother and sister from procreation or likewise, father and daughter. Unfortunately, this unique survival technique hundreds of years later creates yet another obstacle for the researcher who uses official records to trace lineage.
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|}
  
As you prepare for the interview, be mindful that there are some very deep, embarrassing, painful family secrets that relatives might not be willing to share right away, so tread lightly. For you, stirring up pain, waking the dead, shaking the leaves and branches of your tree might not be your intention but for the person who hasn't let go and or chooses to forget...it isn't just that simple. Establishing a mutually trusting, caring relationship must come first and hopefully one day you'll learn the real reason of how and why Uncle Joe was your uncle and your grandfather.  
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If you are interested in being the [[FamilySearch Wiki:Moderator|moderator]] for these ''African American Research'' pages, {{please contact a Sysop}}.  
  
=== External Links  ===
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'''Wiki articles describing online collection are found at:'''
  
*http://www.afrigeneas.com/
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*[[United States Freedman's Bank Registers 1865-1874 (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States Freedman's Bank Registers 1865-1874 (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
*http://www.accessgenealogy.com/african/
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*[[United States Freedmen’s Bureau Letters (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
*http://www.genealinks.com/africanamerican.htm
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*[[United States Freedmen’s Bureau Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States Freedmen's Bureau Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
*http://caagri.org/
 
*http://www.nypl.org/research/sc/sc.html
 
*http://genealogy.about.com/cs/africanamerican/
 
  
{{African American|African American}}
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=== References ===
  
[[Category:African_Americans|Genealogy]]
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<references />
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{{African American|African American}}{{United States Combo}}__NOTOC__
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{{featured article}} 
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[[Category:African_American_Records]]

Latest revision as of 13:32, 10 November 2016

United Statesgo toAfrican American Genealogy

African American Genealogy Wiki Topics
African American Image 5.jpg
Beginning Research
Original Records
Compiled Sources
Background Information
Finding Aids
Find us on
Facebook

Ask a question
Learn what's new
Build the community


A Tennesee Valley Authority African American worker

Welcome to the African American Research page

Its most unique genealogical features:

{{{link}}}

Help Index Freedmen's Bureau Records

Help yourself and others find their African American ancestors by participating in the Discover Freedmen Indexing Project. June 19th Press Conference

State African American Pages

How to do African American Genealogy Research

1870-Present] in the FamilySearch Learning Center.

Did you know?

Deep purple shows counties with an African American plurality

  • The first African settlers in the U.S. were indentured servants in Jamestown, Va., in 1619 (before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock) and freed after 7 years.
  • African American is the most common ancestry in: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
  • The Freedman's Bank and the Freedmen's Bureau were separate organizations, from different federal departments, in separate National Archives record groups.
  • Ten percent of the African American population was free before the Civil War.
  • Only 15 percent of freed slaves used the family name of a former owner.
  • From 1865 to 1875 many African Americans changed their family name.
  • Over 3,600 Free African Americans owned slaves in 1830. [1]


Keys to success in African American research

You will find the most success researching African American ancestors if you begin with yourself, and follow oral history as well as historical records such as birth, marriage, and death certificates to document the previous generations.

Use the US Census to research your family groups. Many times, you may have difficulty in documenting an ancestor.If you research the collateral lines (aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins), you will discover more about your common ancestor and have a wealth of resources to explore.See United States Basic Search Strategies.

In the beginning, you may use the same type of genealogical records other groups use to identify ancestors. ;For this reason there is no need to duplicate state resources here. Consult the state and county articles on the FamilySearch Wiki first until you exhaust them. See Finding Records for Your Ancestors, Part A-African American 1870 to Present. You will find records become somewhat scarce as you move back in time.

Once you notice you are no longer able to find your ancestors on the records most commonly used by others, return here and choose the state above where your ancestor lived to discover records not commonly used in genealogy research.  

Key Internet Links

If you are interested in being the moderator for these African American Research pages, Please contact the Support Team.

Wiki articles describing online collection are found at:

References

  1. Not Quite Fre The Free Negro Before the Civil War by Lowell H. Harrison. American History Illustrated FHL 973 B2ahi vol.9 June 1974 pg 12.